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Chelsea are really concerned for N’Golo Kantè fitness after the French midfielder picked up a hamstring injury while away on international duty with France.

Kante was forced off in the 34th minute of France’s victory over Bulgaria on Saturday night and has now been assessed by Blues’ medical department.

With early predictions putting his absence at two to three weeks, Kante will surely miss next Saturday’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace.

 The Blues are yet to confirm his exact injury or put an official timescale on how long he will miss.

However, Kante’s injury is thought to be worse than that of team-mate Alvaro Morata, who limped off during Manchester City game a couple of weeks ago but is working to try to come back in the Champions League clash against AS Roma next week.

The fear of Chelsea is that Kante, a key-man for Conte’s team, could miss all the six matches scheduled for October and could come back only in November, on time for Manchester United on the 5th or after another international break due for mid-month.

 

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Speaking about the available players for Stoke City away game Antonio Conte confirmed he is considering to start Eden Hazard after the Belgian completed his recovery from a broken ankle injury and, furthermore, that the only player that is not available for a calf injury is Danny Drinkwater, who will probably come back after the international break mid-October.

Of course, David Luiz cannot be selected for the Britannia Stadium clash, as he is suspended after receiving a straight red-card against Arsenal last weekend, while Tiemoué Bakayoko, who had a minor car accident yesterday, didn’t suffer any major consequence:

All players are available for tomorrow except Drinkwater. Bakayoko is fit, it was a minor accident, he is fit,” the Italian manager confirmed during today’s press conference.

Speaking about Eden Hazard, who started his first game with Chelsea after his broken ankle injury last Wednesday against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, Conte said:

“I am pleased for Eden because in the last game he played very well, he played with a good intensity, now his injury is overcome, now we have to play three games, there is the chance to try to pick him for these games.”

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It was confirmed Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will miss the game. Returning captain Gary Cahill will start, as long as Willian and Fabregas.

CHELSEA – Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Marcos Alonso; Willian, Morata, Pedro.

Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Hazard, Batshuayi.

Manager: Antonio Conte

 

ARSENAL – Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny (c), Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette.

Subs: Ospina, Mertesacker, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Sanchez, Walcott, Giroud

Manager: Arsene Wenger

 

Kick Off: 1.30 pm BST

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Referee: Michale Oliver

 

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Antonio Conte confirmed his 23-man-squad for Champions League group stage.

The Italian manager left out of the list AWOL Diego Costa, that was included in the Premier League one last week.

All the new signings are present and also some youngsters – as the rules demand- were included.

These are the players allowed to play the most important European tournament with the Blues shirt in the next months:

Willy Caballero, Thibaut Courtois, Eduardo, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Davide Zappacosta, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Jake Clarke-Salter, Cesc Fabregas, Danny Drinkwater, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Pedro, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Victor Moses, Kenedy, Charly Musonda, Willian, Kyle Scott, Alvaro Morata, Michy Batshuayi

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TEAM NEWS

Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas is back after his suspension against Spurs and will probably start

Gary Cahill still suspended

– 50/50 possibility to start both for Fabregas and Tiemoué Bakayoko: the Frenchman impressed against Tottenham last Sunday

– 50/50 possibility to start both for Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi

– Eden Hazard out, still recovering from his broken ankle

 

Everton

Morgan Scheinderlin is suspended

Ross Barkley out injured ( hamstring) amid Spurs and Chelsea speculations

– Both Idrissa Gueye and Sandro Ramirez are doubt: Gueye missed Thursday’s win over Hajduk Split as a precaution with a hamstring problem, while Sandro has got a heel issue

Davy Klaasen has been ruled out for a foot problem

James McCarthy, Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie all out with knee problems

Seamus Coleman out with a broken leg

 

STATS

  • Chelsea have won seven of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Everton, including both in 2016-17 (W7 D1 L2).

 

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 22 home Premier League games against Everton since a 1-0 loss in November 1994 (W12 D10). Only against Tottenham (25) are they on a longer unbeaten Premier League run at Stamford Bridge.

 

  • Indeed, this Everton run of 22 games without a victory at Chelsea is their longest away winless run at another club in the Premier League. Only against Leeds (36 games between 1953-2001) have they had a longer away run without a win in league history.

 

  • The Toffees have only lost one of their last 11 Premier League games against the reigning champions (W6 D4); a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in December 2014.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ruled out Pedro for Premier League start.

The Italian coach confirmed the Spanish striker is not fit to face Burnley in the first league clash at Stamford Bridge tomorrow:

Pedro is not available because he is suffering with an injury from the Arsenal game and he wasn’t able to recover, it’s a knock on his ankle,” said the Blues boss in a press conference to preview the match.

Chelsea will miss also Eden Hazard, Tiemoué Bakayoko ( both injured) and Victor Moses ( suspended).

 

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The Belgian Football Federation confirmed tonight that Chelsea star Eden Hazard fractured his ankle while training with the national team this afternoon.

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The Blues player is set to be out for the next 2/3 months, this means he will miss all the pre-season and, probably, the first month of the next season, with the Community Shield against Arsenal scheduled in the beginning of August.

Hazard was training with Belgium to prepare the forthcoming games against Czech Republic and Estonia.

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This is the official statement with whom Chelsea and legendary captain John Terry announced that they will not renew their deal in the end of this season, with the English skipper leaving the club where he played his whole career:

John Terry and Chelsea Football Club today jointly announce our captain will leave the club at the end of the season.

Everybody at Stamford Bridge would like to express our enormous gratitude to John and wish him the very best of luck for the future.

John has given us more than two decades of dedicated and exceptional service. In that time he has displayed the utmost pride at wearing the Chelsea shirt, something he has done on 713 occasions since his debut in 1998, scoring 66 goals. He is the club’s third highest all-time appearance-maker and has captained Chelsea a record 578 times.

This season he has featured less on the field but remained an influential and inspirational member of the squad which, under Antonio Conte’s guidance, sits top of the Premier League.

Throughout his career ‘JT’ has contributed immensely to us achieving consistent success unequalled in the club’s history. He has won the Champions League, four Premier League titles, the Europa League, five FA Cups and three League Cups. His 14 major honours make him our most decorated individual of all time.

Terry said: ‘After 22 years there is so much to say and so many people to thank at this great football club. From coaches, team-mates and staff to the fans who have given me so much support down the years, I can’t thank you enough. There will be opportunities for me to speak further about this over the coming weeks.

‘I will decide on my future in due course, but for now I am committed to helping the team achieve success this season.

‘The club and I have always had a fantastic relationship, which will continue beyond my playing days. We had some really positive talks but with everything taken into careful consideration I have decided it’s the right time for me to leave. I’ve always been conscious that I depart at the right time, in the right way, and I feel that the end of this season is the right time for the club and I. I feel I still have plenty to offer on the pitch but understand that opportunities here at Chelsea will be limited for me. I’m eager to carry on playing and so will be looking to continue with a new challenge. I will of course always be a Blue and am desperate to end my final season as a Chelsea player with more silverware.

‘Finally, words cannot describe the love I have for our football club and our amazing Chelsea fans. I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for the unbelievable support you’ve shown me over the years. You mean the world to me and every trophy we’ve won during my time at the club we’ve won together. I will never forget the incredible journey we’ve been on. Thank you so much for everything.’

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: ‘Everyone at Chelsea would like to place on record our thanks to John for all he has done for this football club. He has been an outstanding player, inspirational captain and has always demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the cause.

‘In that time, Chelsea has grown into one of the world’s top clubs and it is only right that John’s contribution is recognised. He will always be held in the highest regard by everybody at Stamford Bridge and we look forward to welcoming him back in the future.’

Both the club and John look ahead to the possibility of him returning to us in a non-playing capacity, when he will be able to share his unparalleled experience with players, staff and fans alike.

John’s outstanding qualities as a footballer, particularly his defensive skills, have deservedly received widespread recognition and admiration. He is one of just five defenders to have won the PFA Player of the Year award and was named in the FIFA/FIFPro World Team of the Year five seasons running. He is both the club’s and the Premier League’s all-time top-scoring defender and earned 78 England caps before retiring from international football in 2012.

His longevity is testament not only to his ability but also his professionalism and dedication. Countless times he returned early from injury, playing through pain but never allowing his performances to drop, and repeatedly putting his body on the line and in the way of opposing attackers, all for the benefit of Chelsea Football Club.

He is, as the famous banner reads, our captain, leader, legend, and we wish John the very best of luck in the next chapter of his magnificent career.

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MANCHESTER UNITED – De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Darmian, Fellaini, Herrera, Young (c), Pogba, Lingard, Rashford.

Subs: Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw, Blind, Carrick, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.

Manager: José Mourinho

 

CHELSEA – Begovic; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Diego Costa, Hazard.

Subs: Eduardo, Zouma, Terry, Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Willian, Batshuayi

Manager: Antonio Conte

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Chelsea star Diego Costa stressed the importance of winning a crucial game like the one of tomorrow night against Manchester City, that wouldn’t mean just three fundamental points in the title race, but it could mean also to kick a direct rival out of the chase for the title:

“After a loss at home and with a rival closing the gap the importance of the game only grows,” the Spanish striker claimed after the defeat against Crystal Palace.

“We know this game against Manchester City will be a six-point affair since if we win the game they will be out of the title race while we keep the advantage. It also depends on the match between Tottenham and Swansea. In any case, we will do our best.

“We hope that the next game the ball will go in, and that we do a better job at handling these counter-attacking plays so we do not suffer from early goals again, and thus avoid what happened against Palace.”

 

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